After the news that transgender actress and activist Alexis Arquette died Sunday morning at age 47, her family has come together to release a touching statement that pays tribute to her bravery and her inspiring life. The statement, penned by sister Patricia Arquette on behalf of the family and posted to the Facebook of her brother, Richmond Arquette, describes Alexis' last days — and her lasting legacy.
"Alexis was a brilliant artist and painter, a singer, an entertainer and an actor," the tribute begins. "Her career was cut short, not by her passing, but by her decision to live her truth and her life as a transgender woman. Despite the fact that there are few parts for trans actors, she refused to play roles that were demeaning or stereotypical. She was a vanguard in the fight for understanding and acceptance for all trans people." Alexis, who was born Robert Arquette, starred in films such as Pulp Fiction, The Wedding Singer, and Of Mice and Men. She transitioned in 2007, documenting the experience in the film, Alexis Arquette: She's My Brother. "She fiercely lived her reality in a world where it is dangerous to be a trans person," the Arquettes' statement reads. "A world largely unready to accept differences among human beings, and where there is still the ugliness of violence and hostility towards people that we may not understand."
Arquette also writes that in transitioning, Alexis "taught us tolerance and acceptance [...] We learned what real bravery is through watching her journey of living as a trans woman." She also describes Alexis' final moments, during which the family "held her and sang her David Bowie’s 'Starman' as she punched through the veil to the other side."
David Arquette also posted a photo to Twitter, thanking fans for their support and calling Alexis his "hero for eternity."
The Arquette family's statement also asks for privacy in their time of grieving, and that in lieu of gifts or flowers, fans should send donations to organizations that support the LGBTQ community in Alexis' honor.